Water and nature plans

Photo: Martin Vestergård

Water and natural resource protection plans and their accompanying work programmes must go through a public hearing process. Once completed, local councils develop action plans. COWI provides consultancy to local councils in all phases of the process.

The Danish Environmental Goals Act, which implements the EU Water Framework Directive and the Natura 2000 directives, establishes quality goals and courses of action for protecting the nation’s water resources and other natural resources in the years to come. Municipal action plans will ensure that the required steps are taken in order to meet the quality goals.

Working to a tight scheduleThe state published the national water and nature resources protection plans in December 2011. But with the protection plans due to be finished in December 2012, councils will have very little time to come up with their action plans, prioritise the various methods of achieving the goals and finally to discuss the plan with the national officials, ordinary citizens, landowners, businesses and other interested parties.

Regular evaluationComplicating the process further is that plans, programmes and projects requiring an environmental impact assessment must be regularly evaluated to ensure that they do not conflict with other water and natural resource protection plans.

End-to-end consultancyCOWI's role begins during the hearing phase, when local councils can call on us to evaluate the data supporting the nature and water plans. Later, once local councils get started on their action plans, COWI’s role changes to that of process consultant for the local council, regional councils and the state.

Specific areas in which COWI can provide expertise include:

  • Comparing proposals for steps that need to be taken as part of water and nature plans with the local council’s plan, sector plans and regional plans  
  • Identifying synergies between plans and any conflicting guidelines
    Mapping the need for oversight and provide such services, if necessary 
  • Linking water and nature plans to other planning of undeveloped areas
  • Conducting studies of how the project will impact area residents and prioritising which steps that need to be taken  
  • Calculating the financial cost of the steps to be taken and draw up proposals for cost efficient solutions for specific areas


LAST UPDATED: 05.02.2016